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Britain records 11 per cent increase in number of Indian visitors

More than half-a-million Indians visited the United Kingdom (UK) within a 12-month period between July 2018 and June 2019, recording an 11 per cent increase in the figure compared to the previous year.

The data was obtained from the latest quarterly report on the Migration Statistics published by the UK's Office for National Statistics. The report further suggested that the Indian and Chinese nations together accounted for as much as 49 per cent of all the visitor visas granted in the mentioned 12-month period.

The number of Indian students studying in the UK has seen a remarkable increase of 42 per cent and has almost doubled in the past three years, bringing the figure at the highest level since 2011, the report stated, as cited in a release by British High Commission to India.

More than 503,000 Indian nationals received visitor visas for the year ending June 2019, and 22,000 Indian nationals received a Tier 4 (study) visa for the year ending June 2019 - up from approximately 15,000 the previous year.

"The continued rise in these figures is fantastic news for the UK-India relationship. It also shows that the UK continues to be a welcoming place for Indians to work, study and vacation," British High Commission to India Dominic Asquith said.

"It looks like the number of Indian fans who travelled to the UK for the Cricket World Cup in England and Wales was even greater than we imagined and I hope to see even more visitors from India in the future. The more Indians who visit, the stronger the living bridge becomes between our two countries. I look forward to working with our partners in India to ensure this impressive record continues," he added.

Indian nationals continue to receive more skilled work visas than the rest of the world combined, accounting for 52 per cent of all Tier 2 visas granted globally. More than 56,000 Indians received skilled work visas - a 5 per cent increase compared to the previous year, which is also the largest increase for any country.